We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, May 25. 2017
The most common postural problem with desk-sitting and desk-reading is Postural Kyphosis (one type of kyphosis, aka "hunchback"). It is due to a lazy, slouched or slumped sitting posture with the head too far forward and upper back too rounded, but in time it continues as a lazy habit while standing and walking: slightly hunched and with shoulders forward.
In medicine, this posture has been nicknamed "Scholar's Hump" and "Dowager's Hump."
It is bad for your back and terrible for appearance - adds years to your appearance. You can try to strengthen postural muscles by sitting tall with your shoulders back. You have to sit on your "sitz bones," aka ischial tuberosities" and not on your behind. You also have to get rid of the habit of neck-leaning, peering forward or downwards.
Another help can be a straight-backed chair, if you use the back of the chair and resist peering forward.
Another corrective could be a lumbar support cushion or pillow. They keep your spine in a natural position and remind you to sit properly.
If your postural kyphosis is bad enough, add some exercises to attempt to strengthen your core to make it easier to correct it. The best are planks, deadlifts, and weighted squats.
Also, these exercises: Postural Muscles: How to Strengthen Them for a Stronger Back. That article makes the important distinction between postural and phasic muscles.
Fiery Dolce & Gabbana designer hits back at critics who attacked him for dressing Melania Trump in one of his $2900 blazers
She looks great in anything - or nothing. She's a good sport to go along with Trump's crazy Presidential reality TV adventure
Trump debuts in Europe as Obama returns to stir nostalgia for the old days
How do you like Michelle's outfit? She is 53.
The real reasons for Marvel Comics' woes
Men need frequent ejaculations (h/t Insty of course)
Government’s “Dietary fat guidelines have no evidence base”
Never did. Fat is good for you. The docs got it wrong too - without evidence.
Invention of the Curveball
How whales became the largest animals
The Suburbs Are Still Where It’s At for raising families
Job Security Is Disappearing -- What Does It Mean For You?
School-Choice Movement Expects Gains under Trump Administration
NYC PR parade sponsors refuse to honor unrepentant terrorist
I am for PR independence too, but this guy is a murderer
Trump wants to deport MS-13 gang members. El Salvador is dreading their return.
Security services find more bomb-making materials in hunt for UK terror network
Manchester Bomber’s Father Arrested in Tripoli
Europe chose to sacrifice its children to the Islamic Moloch
Progressive Fantasy Of The Day: Healthcare As A "Human Right"
Let's make health a right
Of course. It covers many more things
CBO: House-approved health care bill to lower premiums, stabilize marketplace
Sanctuary cities lose access to federal grants that require complying with federal immigration law – cue the histrionics
Bob Woodward digs at 'smug' media, weighs in on President Trump's odds of finishing first term
Joe Concha Trashes the Media in 2017: It ‘Sticks to Your Boots,’ Cites MRC
How Foreign Aid Hurts Famine Relief in Somalia
The United Nations’ 'Lords of Poverty' - The foreign aid industry is a racket.
Leakers who revealed Israel as intelligence source did far more damage than Trump
The Islamic State and the End of Lone-Wolf Terrorism
Non-Western Immigrants Consume 59% Of Denmark’s Tax Revenue
Trump has done what Obama didn’t: Scare NATO into closer tracking of defense spending
Wednesday, May 24. 2017
A Libyan "refugee family" in the UK - but the father still works in Libya.
A BD addendum, Islam and the West: We Can’t Coexist? Wars of religion are different from wars over territory and resources. I am sure not every Muslim in the US or UK wants Sharia law to replace existing law, but I suspect many wouldn't mind. Some, as we can see, view it as a holy, sacred mission to destroy non-Muslims until they submit. In the UK, the government seems to want to semi-submit, but it will never be enough. Like student rioters, if you give them an inch they'll take a mile. Euroland is already getting used to having a nasty case of cultural cancer.
Even in the most soft-hearted practices of Christianity, we are taught that discernment (aka discriminating good from terrible, helpful from unhelpful, destructive from constructive, etc) must be a component of Christian wisdom and practice. "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."
Did a post-Christian world retain the dove part and forget the snake part? Why? Decadence, comfort, and cowardice?
An episode from The Saint (1965). It's an oldie but goodie - h/t SDA
Subprime 2.0: Lending a $1 Trillion to People With No Proof of Job or Income
White-Owned Restaurants Shamed for Serving Ethnic Food: It's Cultural Appropriation
Byron York: At this rate, it won't matter if Trump colluded with Russia
Twitter Co-Founder: I Thought Free Speech Could Make the World a ‘Better Place’, ‘I Was Wrong’
The European Union Wants to Censor Hate Speech on Social Media
ABC News Frets Over Potential “Anti-Islamic Backlash” After Manchester Terror Attack…
Vanderleun: Learning to hate Islam
Syria Has Effectively Ceased to Exist
The Palis: There Won’t Be Peace While the Power Is Out
Photo below: The suicide bomber's mosque in Manchester
Tuesday, May 23. 2017
They didn't mention that the youth can no longer spell "idle."
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:22 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
The familiar Rondo from Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4
If you did something like this 4-5X/wk, with nothing else, your cardio fitness and physique would definitely improve after 6 months, but your strength and muscle only slightly.
At 6 am, the class was packed (about 40 people) with about half men, half women. Quite a few grey hairs in there, at least a quarter but it's hard to tell with the women because no women seem to go grey around here - it must be the water. I'd say ages 30-75. They say "All levels welcome." My trainer thinks those classes are BS, but I thought it seemed like an excellent and varied workout, high intensity with no lowering of heart rate and blood pressure and only light hand weights. The only rests I saw were on a 15 second count, or planks.
There were many sorts of body shapes in there (but no serious fatties, and no muscle-heads) and many levels of fitness but all did their damndest to keep up the pace set by the trainer. Here's what I saw from my jump-roping view:
They began with about 5 minutes of stretches, and warm-ups with things like sumos and slow jogging in place.
Then most of the routines were about 30 seconds each and some were repeated in a circuit: Air squats, jumping jacks, straight-arm planks, push-ups, high-knee jogging in place, step-ups, calf-raises, mountain climbers, jumping burpees, air squats with overhead press hand weights, sit-ups, supermans, air squats with forward hand weights, heavy ball floor slams, heavy ball throw and catch, fast standing twists with heavy ball, wall sits, lunges with hand weights, kettlebell swings, kettlebell walks and kettlebell shrugs.
I thought it was a fine, pretty intense hour of cardio-calis and I think I will find a way to fit that into my schedule, altho 6 am is late for me, because mixing cardio and calis is time-efficient and the group is motivating. Plus the classes are free for gym members. Yes, you could do it all on your own - but probably wouldn't.
Nobody walked out of that gym room with a sprightly step - all beaten up good. That's a good sign. If it were easy, that would be bad. I would have been dripping and dragging too. Well, I was anyway after doing my own routine. Good way to begin the day with a good head and a peaceful soul.
“When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money.”
Oscar Wilde, via Art Collecting Today
5 Tips On Learning To Carry Your Grief
Birth Rates are at Historic Lows and Here's a Major Reason
Not to mention birth control
Whole Foods Would Look a Lot Different If It Were Science-Based
Dumb article, slightly correct
The median grade at Harvard College is an A-, and the most frequently awarded mark is an A.
PRINCETON CHOSE MINORITY STUDENTS BASED ON AMOUNT OF "CULTURAL FLAVOR"
GOOD NEWS: Arctic Doom Pushed Off Till 2040
I can wait, but then it will be pushed off to the year 2100 and I do not have that much patience
Coyote: Your labor regulation of the day
Farm Handouts Are Out of Control. Here Are 5 Reasons to Target Them in the Budget.
California’s single-payer plan costs $400 billion — twice the state’s entire budget
A reader asked Arnold Kling: In light of everything that has happened in the last few years, have you changed your mind on anything?
Elizabeth Warren Challenged By Real Indians To Prove She Has Indian Ancestry
Challenged by both Dot and Feather Indians
Appeals Ct to Consider Fate of Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Codevilla's The Cold Civil War:
It's called "freedom"
The Media Spreads Fake News About Ivanka Trump
MSM Began To Mention Trump’s Impeachment During His First Week In Office
Monday, May 22. 2017
Humans are bio-psycho-social critters, too complicated for labs.
Va Pensiero, from Verdi's Nabucco. The singers are Hebrew slaves in Babylon. Lyrics (Italian and English) here.
Toon above via Powerline
SHEER LUNACY ON CAMPUS - When kindergarten meets totalitarianism.
Against Free Speech: Merkel, May (and Macron)
Interracial marriages: Study Finds Massive Shift in US Marriages
Crushing on Crushers - Why do intellectuals fall in love with dictators and totalitarians?
Unemployment Claims At Lowest Level In 28 Years
The Underreported Success of the Trump Presidency
President Trump gives masterful speech
Leaking of Trump’s slip made it worse
Trump aides had ‘intervention’ to curb his tweeting: report
Harvard agrees: Trump press coverage sets ‘new standard for negativity’
A Coup Attempt, Not a Constitutional Crisis
Ruddy to ABC's Stephanopoulos: Trump Suffers from Media 'Barrage'
Dems are gunning for Trump — here’s how he can survive
Sunday, May 21. 2017
In New England, with our relatively brief growing season, it is difficult to have a crop of tropical and subtropical fruits like tomatoes for more than several weeks - mainly August-mid-September. Unless you are on the coast, it is hardly worth bothering to grow tomatoes (other than cherry tomatoes which ripen quickly) from mid- Massachusetts, north.
Some people, with more drive than I have, construct polyurethane tents, like greenhouses, to give their tomatoes a head start on the season. It is of minimal effectiveness. Why?
Because tomato plants do not like to grow until nighttime temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees F. They might make an effort, but without vigor. Raise the night temperature and they grow like weeds.
That's why putting them in early doesn't make sense unless it's your only chance to get them in at all. Experienced gardeners around here aim for putting them in around Memorial Day and their crops are generally more productive than those who try to jump the season.
The domestic tomato was bred, probably by Aztecs in Central America, into a useful food (as they did with the tomatillo). A brief History of Tomatoes. The wild version of tomato seems to be the Currant Tomato, a perennial vine with berry-like green fruit. By now, that plant has so widely cross-bred with man-made tomato that the wild type may be extinct. All of the modern colors, including bright red, are relatively recent genetic inventions. Every tomato today (including "heritage") is a testament to GMO - the slow kind achieved by the Aztecs up through the 20th century.
Piaget, Jung, and the dominance hierarchy
It's a mystery to me why, since I began a serious exercise program almost exactly two years ago, grey hairs are growing out brown, and my hair is thicker. So testifies my Sicilian barber of 20 years. My body has changed in many desirable ways - less fat, more muscle, cut abdomen (somewhat), better posture, tougher all over - but I do not exercise my hair at all and use no Rogaine, no hair dye.
Could it just be diet? I have tried to up my protein intake and go very easy on carbs except maybe in restaurants. I love mashed taters. Or potato chips which I also love. I tend to avoid vegetables unless in a Thai concoction, or unless cooked in garlic and oil. Or in bacon. Tomato is not a vegetable. I also tend to avoid fruit unless in a banana or strawberry protein smoothie because I do not like sweet things very much and, when I want some, it is never satisfying and makes me feel uncomfortable. I have always preferred savory to sweet. Generally-speaking, my program has lowered my appetite quite a bit so I focus on protein because I am told to. I do like a steak sandwich.
One case is just an anecdote, so it means nothing. I do wonder, though. Hair is mostly genetic but this change is odd.
17:22 Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, "Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way.
17:23 For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, 'To an unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands,
17:25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.
17:26 From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live,
17:27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him--though indeed he is not far from each one of us.
17:28 For 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we too are his offspring.'
17:29 Since we are God's offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals.
17:30 While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
17:31 because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."
She emailed a pic from his garden
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:13 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, May 20. 2017
Mr. Vanderleun found this excellent recording of the haunting anthem Not Dark Yet from Dylan's 1997 Time Out of Mind album. Was it that long ago? Sheesh, the time is runnin' away.
A commenter on Youtube:
There is only one French salad dressing - mustard vinaigrette with shallots. This guy learned how to make it. No reason to ever use anything else other than laziness (I can be lazy and I like to put Ken's Steak House salad dressing from Costco on tomato slices).
The only French variation is to add tarragon or to use tarragon vinegar. I don't care much for tarragon flavor although it grows vigorously in my garden. Tarragon Chicken is a classic, but I don't care for it.
Isn't it strange that commercial "French Dressing" and "Russian Dressing" are American inventions? So is commercial "Italian dressing." Well, they all taste ok. Russian is great on a roast beef sammich.
What is a genuine Italian salad dressing? Salt, olive oil, vinegar (3 parts oil to one part vinegar). Toss it extensively - 30 times seems to be an Italian standard. You can add a few drops of Balsamic to that if you want, or use lemon juice (very Sicilian) instead of vinegar. Without salt, salad is not edible. It's barely edible anyway because it is rodent food and minimally-digestible by humans. I figure if you want to eat greens, eat a herbivore instead because they have the tools to break down and digest cellulose and thus the contents of greens. We do not.
Hoax Science Paper Says Penis Is A Social Construct That Worsens Climate Change. It was accepted by a science journal. Here's the paper: The conceptual penis as a social construct
Whether news or science, nobody can tell real from fake anymore. Everything seems to be from The Onion. Is there anything we can take at face value, or is everything fake?
Related, not from The Onion: Store Selling 'Boys Will Be Boys' Shirt Under Attack, Accused of Breeding 'Rape Culture'
A new shade of blue
More on that dinosaur fossil
What Changed The Green Sahara Into A Desert?
Graphic Novels Are Trending in English Departments
"Graphic novels" is an academic term for comic books. Next, coloring books. Re "graphic novels," I did read Maus. I recommend it, but not as literature. Same with Ros Chast's Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
Swallow a single balloon, lose 34 pounds
Tampons in Men’s Rooms? It’s Just a Small Part of ‘Menstrual Equity’
Not cool. I mean like totally uncool. Sheesh. Condoms might make sense.
Hava Nagila’s Long, Strange Trip - The unlikely history of a Hasidic melody.
UK Government Moves Aggressively To Censor & Control The Internet
Extremely creepy. 1984.
Connecticut, the wealthiest U.S. state, may be tapped out on taxing the rich
Chanel's $1,325 boomerang condemned as 'cultural appropriation'
I am completely in favor of cultural appropriation - including boomerangs. Also, hot peppers (stolen from Mexico)
The NYT: LOOMING FLOODS, THREATENED CITIES
Scared yet? If so, stop driving and stop heating your house.
California Governor Brown imposing massive regulations for meaningless climate goals
Authoritarian Moonbattery in Action: Cuomo’s Closing of Indian Point
"Evil Eyes" Cuomo destroying his state one step at a time
Harvard Study Reveals Huge Extent of Anti-Trump Media Bias
Trump Officials: ‘He Looks More and More Like a Complete Moron’
McArdle: Trump unfit for office
As Leaks Pile Up, It’s Evident Trump Is Under Attack From His Own Staff
From Legal Insurrection:
Friday, May 19. 2017
A friend emailed pics from a performance of the Paris Opera Ballet this week: